How an LMS
An LMS functions similarly to word processors like Microsoft Word or email servers like Gmail. It allows businesses to develop, manage, and deliver eLearning courses seamlessly. The acronym LMS stands for Learning Management System, comprising three key components:
The initial segment is an administrative interface training managers utilise to organise their
learning programs through various back-office tasks. This includes designing, administering,
and disseminating courses, managing learners, analysing reports, and automating notifications,
among other functionalities.
The second component is an eLearning module, serving as a visually appealing user interface. Like a mobile app or web-browser platform, similar to popular applications like Gmail or Facebook, the eLearning module is the gateway learners encounter when enrolling in or being assigned to a course.
So, what are the exact functions of an LMS?
Let's delve into the precise capabilities of an LMS. An LMS empowers you to:
An LMS is utilised by a diverse range of organisations involved in delivering eLearning courses,
extending beyond educational institutions.
Here are several examples of entities that leverage a learning management system (LMS) for training purposes:
The versatility of a Learning Management System becomes evident in its ability to cater to diverse training requirements. Subject matter experts can employ an LMS to deliver online courses, train internal staff, and consulting firms can effectively educate their clients on various subjects.
An LMS serves a wide range of learning activities, as implied by the "L" in its acronym.
Consequently, it has emerged as an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes.
Here are some typical applications of an LMS platform:
Continuous employee training is essential regardless of your industry – insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, or government. Whether compliance training or upskilling existing staff, a corporate LMS enables employees to learn at their own pace, eliminating disruptions associated with traditional learning methods.
By utilising an LMS for eLearning, you can save time and money on staff training instead of hiring professional instructors for conventional seminars. Integrated monitoring and reporting features provide valuable insights into employee growth.
Onboarding new hires:
Streamline and automate the critical onboarding process with a corporate LMS. While personal greetings and office tours remain essential, most necessary information can be conveniently accessed and referred to in the learning material at the new hires' convenience.
New employees often need help remembering details about a company's history or compliance procedures. However, an online onboarding course ensures constant access to relevant information.
Your LMS effectively educates new employees about employee conduct codes, privacy policies, and anti-discrimination/harassment policies within your organisation. Additionally, it can provide insights into job responsibilities, career advancement prospects, and rewards.
Preserving your employees' knowledge:
Nurturing your staff's skills is undeniably vital, but it's equally important to learn from them. Retaining critical skills, techniques, and information within your organisation becomes crucial when employees depart or retire.
Rather than allowing essential knowledge to languish in an overlooked document management system, an LMS platform is the perfect solution. It is a knowledge repository that can train new employees and facilitate a smooth departmental transition.
Training your customers and partners:
Your LMS doesn't have to be limited to internal purposes alone. You can extend access to your customers and external partners as well.
For instance, you can utilise an LMS to onboard new clients to your product. If you provide services to enhance employees' soft skills, you can even design and distribute courses through your LMS to your clients.
Equipping salespeople with essential tools:
Frontline employees like salespeople and customer service representatives must continually upgrade their knowledge.
Online training is the most efficient way to keep them updated on new products, services, industry developments, and sales techniques. Additionally, companies can leverage online onboarding programs to deliver digital training to new hires, resulting in accelerated productivity.
Enabling remote learning:
Traditional training often faces challenges due to geographical limitations. Multinational corporations and organisations with multiple locations need help to gather everyone for training sessions.
By transitioning your training to an online platform, all team members can access training content and even participate in live webinars from wherever they are. This shift can save significant time and resources.
Transitioning from traditional offline training to eLearning may seem complex, but the benefits
outweigh the challenges. Companies experience a $30 increase in productivity for every $1
invested in eLearning. Additionally, having the right technology in place can facilitate a smooth
Here are several advantages of utilising a learning management system (LMS) for training:
1. Cost-effective training: Instead of organising new events each time you need to train staff and customers, investing in LMS software allows you to conduct all your training programs efficiently and cost-effectively.
2. Real-time content updates: Say goodbye to outdated training manuals. You can easily change your training content on the spot with online training. Unlike printed materials or in-person presentations, this eliminates the need to restart whenever something changes.
3. Location-independent training: Remote workers should take advantage of training opportunities. You can save time and resources by avoiding the need to bring everyone together physically. Virtual training via an LMS enables the development of learning programs, even for those working remotely.
4. Engage and motivate learners: Training is not solely about acquiring new skills but also understanding company policies and compliance regulations. In such cases, training may seem uninteresting. You can ensure learner engagement and motivation by incorporating interactive and gamification elements (e.g., quizzes, rewards, internal competitions) into your LMS.
5. Learning on the go: Traditional learning programs can disrupt productivity, requiring individuals to leave work for specific conferences or sessions. However, using an LMS allows employees to continue learning outside the office at their convenience. A mobile LMS platform enables accessing training courses while commuting or travelling for work.
6. Improve employee retention: Career advancement is highly valued by employees. Create an online course library within your LMS, offering opportunities for skill improvement. Provide courses that enhance company knowledge and help individuals acquire new abilities or develop existing skills without changing roles. This approach creates a win-win situation.
7. Track progress and results: Evaluating the success of a learning program can be time- consuming. LMS platforms simplify this task by generating user engagement data, such as login frequency and course completion rates. LMS reports also assess learners' performance on assessments and assignments, providing valuable insights.
8. Cultivate a culture of continuous learning: Offline training programs are often challenging to organise and typically occur once a year or on an as-needed basis. However, eLearning courses, pre-made content, online presentations, and webinars make it easier to offer ongoing learning opportunities through an LMS.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) offer advantages to businesses and individuals,
particularly employees. By utilising a corporate LMS, employees can experience the following
1. Enhance skills at no cost: Employees can acquire valuable skills beyond their work responsibilities, such as communication and empathy, through a course library. Resources or time constraints may limit access to this type of training, making it an excellent opportunity to engage and develop employees.
2. Improved knowledge retention: Traditional learning methods often need help to ensure learners retain and comprehend course content. In comparison, eLearning proves more effective. Online courses allow learners to pause videos, take notes, review previous lessons, or undertake follow-up assessments to assess their understanding, ensuring knowledge retention.
3. Flexible training pace: One-size-fits-all training programs do not suit everyone. Some individuals thrive with extended periods of focused learning, while others prefer shorter, more frequent training sessions. Additionally, employees possess varying levels of existing knowledge on specific subjects. An LMS caters to these diverse training needs.
4. Anytime, anywhere learning: Consider the challenges faced by employees required to attend lectures on non-working days or interrupt their busy schedules for pre-scheduled workshops. With an LMS, this inconvenience is eliminated. Flexible training programs can be created, enabling employees to engage in learning whenever it best suits their schedule.
5. Access to training materials without constraints: Learners can revisit previous lessons anytime by logging into the LMS, allowing them to refresh their knowledge. This is particularly valuable for new employees who often experience information overload during their initial days on the job.
Now that you understand the concept of an LMS let us explore the different types available. Like
various software options, LMS platforms also come in multiple forms. The abundance of choices
when searching for an LMS for your organisation may initially seem overwhelming.
While all LMS platforms are designed for training purposes, you will find that some align better with your specific learning objectives or industry requirements.
Let's explore different LMS types and determine which suits your company's training needs best.
LMS Types: Cloud vs Self-hosted vs Private Cloud
Third-party vendors provide cloud-based LMS solutions through subscription models. These platforms offer a range of features to meet diverse training needs. However, a self-hosted solution is worth considering if you desire complete control over your eLearning platform and the ability to make customisations.
With a self-hosted LMS, the team that developed the platform handles installation, upgrades, and server monitoring. Your cloud service provider may also offer backup options, either free or paid, along with upgrade opportunities.
Cloud-based solutions are typically available in different tiers, allowing you to choose the pricing, performance, and feature combination best suits your requirements. These scalable solutions enable you to start with a basic plan and upgrade as your business expands.
On the other hand, a self-hosted LMS, also known as locally deployed, is a licensed web application. This alternative offers enhanced security as you install and maintain the platform on your server.
You are responsible for installing the self-hosted LMS and tasks such as data backup and server software updates. You must contact the vendor to renew your license when newer versions become available.
One advantage is the increased flexibility to interface with your local infrastructure and modify the code to accommodate specific needs.
A self-hosted LMS provides a secure and private environment with dedicated resources and codes exclusive to your organisation. This ensures optimal performance and security, bridging the gap between locally deployed and cloud solutions.
While you manage installation, monitoring, and upgrades, you have direct access to your LMS for customisation and integration with your existing technology infrastructure.
Software as a Service deployment model (SaaS) vs Open-source LMS vs Licensed LMS
SaaS Software: A cloud-based LMS operates on the Software as a Service (or SaaS) LMS model. With this approach, you select a software provider, often with a free trial option, and then choose a pricing plan based on your desired capabilities.
LMS software providers typically offer multiple pricing options, allowing you to select the one that aligns best with your needs, avoiding unnecessary expenses for new features.
If you only require basic training, free plans offered by commercial LMSs can be an excellent choice. As your team grows and advanced features become necessary, you can upgrade to a premium subscription.
Since your LMS is hosted on the provider's server, installing anything on your hard drive or computer is unnecessary.
Knowing that your LMS provider handles data security and software maintenance, you can have peace of mind.
Open-source LMS: On the other hand, an open-source LMS requires specialised IT staff, as you will be responsible for the installation, customisation, and maintenance of the system. Manual updates are also necessary when required.
Choosing an open-source LMS eliminates upfront license expenses, but additional costs may arise as you integrate and maintain the system over time.
While you can install an open-source LMS on your company's server, you must invest in it and engage an internal or external IT team to configure and support the system.
Based on use case/industry: Corporate LMS vs Education LMS
Businesses commonly employ a corporate learning management system (LMS) to train their workforce, partners, clients, or all. This centralised platform stores training material and tracks learners' progress and statistics.
Many corporate LMSs offer white labelling options, enabling businesses to personalise their platform by replacing the vendor's logo and branding with their own.
Corporate LMSs are feature-rich and cater to various training needs, including:
● Onboarding programs
● Training for employees, customers, and compliance purposes
● Remote worker training for sales and customer service
Academic or educational learning management system (LMS): Educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities utilise LMSs. Learners can access instructor-led training (ILT) or study online materials. They can also take tests and receive grades, all within the same platform.
Content updates are less frequent as courses are typically scheduled in advance according to academic terms (e.g., semesters, trimesters, or quarters). Consequently, academic LMSs may not offer regular features and system improvements.
Businesses opting for an academic-based LMS may have fewer technical requirements, such as integrations with other tools, but may require additional support.
While primarily designed for educational institutions, an education LMS can also be utilised by businesses. Likewise, an educational institution may choose a corporate LMS if it better meets its needs.
Choosing between LMS software depends on which one best supports your learning programs.
It'll be time to start developing your learning environment once you've chosen the ideal LMS for your training needs. You usually go through the following procedures before commencing a training programme.
Build your eLearning course. You must first add your eLearning content to your LMS before you can deliver it.
You can do this by either producing new course material (i.e., composing the content of your courses inside the LMS) or adding current material (a Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, Wikipedia articles, etc.).
An advanced LMS software, such as PlayAblo, allows you to add course material from various sources and formats.
Another essential element of course development is the ability to easily include internet assets (ranging from YouTube videos and Wikipedia pages to online presentations and tweets), enabling you to reap the benefits of the plethora of information available on digital platforms.
Organise your lessons. The next step is to put your eLearning courses in order.
Doing this might be as simple as offering a single course or as complex as releasing many courses across multiple branches for departments and learner groups.
It all relies on your organisation's needs and structure. The finest learning management systems should allow you to structure your eLearning courses in any way you desire.
For example, in PlayAblo, you may combine various organisational options (courses, groups, categories, skills, branches, and so on) to give you complete control over how you offer your lessons. Whether you're a multinational with 20 locations or a tiny firm in a single city, we can help.
Educate your learners You're ready to give your courses to your learners after you've prepared and structured them.
Again, how you go about it is determined by your company's needs and structure.
For example, your courses could be designed for a specific audience, such as internal staff training. Alternatively, they could be made available to a broader audience, either for free (as in an NGO teaching specific skills to people in underdeveloped communities) or for a fee (e.g., an online school offering web-based learning courses).
A modern learning management system (LMS) should be able to handle all of these scenarios, allowing you to serve and manage small and large groups of learners, offer restricted or open enrolment and simply interface with your existing payment gateways to process for paid courses.
With adaptable user interfaces, touch-friendly interactivity, and offline access modes, the finest LMS platforms should be able to cater to mobile devices as well.
Organise your users
The "M" in LMS stands for the ability to manage courses and users.
Let's look at how an LMS can assist you in managing your users now that we've covered course management.
First of all, there will be three types of users. Depending on the LMS you choose, these users may have different names. However, in general, they are:
1. Administrators are the individuals in charge of setting up and configuring the LMS.
2. Instructors or Facilitators are the ones in charge of planning lessons and keeping track of learner progress.
3. Finally, the people who consume the courses are known as Learners.
The administrator and instructor may be the same individual in a tiny firm or organisation. After all, setting up a user-friendly LMS like PlayAblo is no more complicated than setting up a Facebook account.
Employees (if you work for a company, a major organisation, a government agency, or a private company) or learners enrolled in your courses are examples of learners (if you work in the educational sphere)
Managing these users entails the following:
Adding them to the LMS, allocating courses to them, communicating with them as an instructor, choosing what kind of information they are authorised to read, issuing tests and tracking their progress (if you're selling courses), etc. A decent LMS makes these processes less tedious by automating repetitive actions and allowing you to make changes and updates to several items simultaneously.
Keeping track of progress
Keep track of and evaluate the progress of your learners. The ability to measure and monitor learner progress in real-time is one of the most critical capabilities an LMS provides (and a huge time saver).
An LMS gives you automated and rapid access to course enrolment figures, attendance records, learner grades, and many other performance measures, whether you have 10 or 10,000 learners.
Real-time alerts and notifications should be included in the top LMSs. An automated notice, for example, informs the learner when a new course has been allocated to them or when a LIVE session is ready to begin.
Reporting — the capacity to query and display data in graphs and charts so you can immediately notice patterns or anomalies — is another requirement for advanced LMS platforms.
For example, PlayAblo allows you to filter learner and course information in a variety of ways (for example, "show me just learners from department X enrolled in class A," or "show me this learner's test results"). Aggregated statistics are also available, which you can export in an Excel-compatible format.
EVALUATION -To evaluate which LMS is ideal for your firm,
use the steps below to conduct market research:
1. Determine the most critical aspects of your unique setup.
You want to invest in the ideal LMS. However, what is excellent for one organisation may not be suitable for another. So, based on your requirements, you must first differentiate must-haves from nice-to-haves.
Consider the following scenario:
If you do not have an internal IT team dedicated to setting up and maintaining your system, you must strongly consider opting for a user-friendly SaaS or cloud based LMS.
If you're on a restricted budget, check for LMSs that offer various price plans and pick the one with the most basic functionality.
Choose an LMS that allows you to design unique training programmes for each department, client, or branch while still using the same account.
Check which LMSs allow your preferred payment systems and provide marketing-related tools if you're selling (or plan to sell) online courses.
Choose an LMS with a robust reporting package if you want to keep track of your learning.
2. Ask for client references
Speak to your shortlisted LMS vendors’ customers to hear what they have to say about the software and particularly the support experience. These conversations will give you insights into what the users liked and didn't like about the LMS platform.
Also, look at or ask for case studies. These credentials are usually available on the LMS website. Watch out for businesses that are similar to your size and sector. This check can indicate that the LMS is a suitable fit for you as well.
Prioritise your precise requirements, must-haves, and deal-breakers when reading evaluations and testimonies. Compare the different LMS platforms based on time to go live, for example, if you want to start utilising your LMS as soon as feasible.
3. Try it out for free.
Some LMS providers provide free trials. A free trial is advantageous since you will test the product before committing to a pricing plan.
You'll determine whether the system satisfies all of your requirements, how simple it is to use (for example, creating courses and assigning new users), and whether you have any technical issues that you'd like to discuss with the support team.
After you've thought about everything, make a shortlist of 2-3 LMS platforms and choose the one that checks the most of your high-priority criteria.
For a more detailed and thorough strategy on evaluating the right LMS please read: 9 Questions to Ask Your Vendor Before Selecting an LMS
We have covered the meaning of a Learning Management System (LMS) and its purpose. The next step is to learn about the features that will assist you in achieving your training objectives.
We have covered this topic in complete detail here, listing 20 key LMS features to look for when you are in the market for a new LMS. However here is a shortlist of the main components to look out for.
You will need these critical elements to improve the learning experiences of your teams and streamline your course management.
We highly recommend that you also go through this entire list of Top 20 LMS features for the first time LMS buyer.
How do you pick the best LMS?
Now that you've gotten a solid sense of what an LMS can do for you and the key features to look out for, it is time to put one in your shopping cart. Which one, though? The quick answer is that the finest LMS is one that meets all of your training requirements while remaining within your budget.
PlayAblo is a Learning Management System that is designed to help you succeed. Teams embrace training while feeling at ease with an experience that is configurable, easy to manage, and enjoyable to use.
PlayAblo is trusted by several teams of different shapes, sizes, and industries all around the world because it is:
How an LMSworks
Why choosePlayAblo™ LMS?